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Meet Our Team

Sam Katz, Executive Producer and Founder

Sam is a team builder, a collaborator, a great recruiter of creative talent, and a producer who demands excellence. A lifelong resident, Sam is well known in Philadelphia having run for Mayor and Governor, leading a variety of civic and non-profit organizations and expressing his views on issues that challenge the city and region. For him, History Making Productions is a lasting legacy, forging a richer and deeper understanding of Philadelphia. Sam often observes the hope that by better understanding its past, Philadelphians may evolve a clearer vision of what they want the city’s future to be. Sam is a John Hopkins University graduate. He holds a Masters degree in Urban Policy from the New School and, together with his wife Connie, is a long time resident of West Mt. Airy.

Phil Katz, Media Advisor and Founder

Having created the content management system that houses much of the media and the iTunes and Android apps that allow mobile devices to host our media content, Phil is actively engaged in the design and development of the company’s digital footprint. In addition, Phil has directed, produced, and edited several films for History Making Productions. We rely on Phil for his creative ideas, his thoughtful approach to solving filmmaking and technological challenges and for his strategy. Phil received his BA in business from Washington University in St. Louis. Phil and his family reside in Bella Vista.

Andrew Ferrett, Director

Since the company launched in 2008, it has been Andrew’s role to shape the tone and style of our productions. His leadership, creativity, thoughtfulness has been recognized with five Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards. Andrew directs Philadelphia: The Great Experiment, directed and co-wrote Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia and is writing, directing and producing Speed of Light: Philadelphia and the Birth of Motion Pictures. Andrew grew up in Bucks County, received his BA from Kenyon College, and is a South Philly resident.

Nathaniel Popkin, Senior Writer & Co-Producer 

Nathaniel joined the project from its outset. His intellectual curiosity and breadth, his love for the city, and his passion for great storytelling have made him one of our most valuable team members. He has written the Emmy Award- winning scripts for each episode of Philadelphia: The Great Experiment and co-wrote Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia. He collaborates with other team members to ensure the story is dramatically and effectively conveyed. Nathaniel is a journalist, editor, and literary critic and author of four books. He is a founding editor of the Hidden City Daily. Raised in Bucks County, Nathaniel earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Pennsylvania. He resides with his family in Bella Vista.

Ginny Lasco, Creative Director

Ginny brings nearly 30 years of experience as a graphic designer and art direction for broadcast television (Fox 29 and 6ABC) to her work as our Creative Director. Whether it’s an animated portrait, a map, new visual imagery or logos and lower thirds, Ginny’s work is beautiful, conveys exactly the right message and reinforces the excellent quality of our work. Her work has been recognized with several Emmy nominations and awards. Ginny has helped us create branding strategies for our projects and collaborates with other HMP team members to design graphic representations that together with interviews, re-enactment scenes and original art, help to convey a diverse and dramatic set of visuals for audiences. Ginny grew up in Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains. She graduated from the Art Institute and resides in Mount Airy.

Paul Van Haute, Director of Photography

Since 2011, Paul has been our Director of Photography. His attention to detail and ability to work with multiple cameras to achieve visual diversity have greatly contributed to audience enthusiasm for our films. His craft and professionalism have been recognized with four Emmy Awards. Paul’s talents are in considerable demand. He works with numerous film production companies throughout the country. He is a 1976 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and lives in Wyndmoor.

Patrick de Caumette, Music Composer & Audio Director

Patrick has been the Music Composer and Director for History Making Productions since 2011. His work on Philadelphia: The Great Experiment has been recognized with two Emmys. He composes scores original music to all of the documentary films in our portfolio including Philadelphia: The Great Experiment, Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia and the trilogy of films that we produced for the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis’ visit in 2015. Patrick has enjoyed an extensive career in film and music as a composer, musician, and director of sound. He has produced soundtracks for Walt Disney, ABC, Comcast, Canal +, UbiSoft, among other production companies. His creativity and attention to detail has significantly strengthened to emotional foundation of our documentaries. Patrick is originally from France, attended the Berklee College of Music, and currently lives in West Mt. Airy.

Amy Cohen, Director of Education

Amy's work at HMP has demonstrated how valuable documentary film can be as a teaching tool. She has developed educational materials to accompany our films, which she presents at schools, universities, and other venues throughout the region. Amy’s leadership and skills have generated partnerships with numerous local historical and cultural institutions. Amy has degrees in history from Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Center City, she now resides with her family in West Mt. Airy.

Rachel Sophia Stewart, Senior Film Editor

Rachel joined History Making Productions in 2012. Working on every major project, Rachel is in charge of the pacing and contextuality of our films. Rachel has already been recognized for her editorial work with several Emmy Awards. Since 2013, she has been the editor of Philadelphia: The Great Experiment; she co-edited Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia. Rachel is part of the production team on Symphonic Revolution and is working on Sisters In Freedom, two new film projects. Rachel received a degree in film production from Temple University. She grew up in Reading and now lives in South Philly.

Jon Kohl, Producer, Researcher, Archivist & Editor

We first met Jon several years ago while he was a Temple film student working part-time in the Urban Archives (now the Special Collections Research Center) at the University's Samuel L. Paley Library and since then he has helped shape our archival capacity and visual archive. Jon conceived and produced Cecil’s People: The Freedom Fighters, a series of three short films that described the struggle to integrate Girard College. That work has received an Emmy Award.  Jon is currently editing and serving as a producer for Speed of Light: Philadelphia and the Birth of Motion Pictures and has made numerous contributions exploring and discovering still and motion photography used in Philadelphia: The Great Experiment and Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia. Jon grew up in Easton, PA and resides in Belmont Hills.

Katie Arnold, Associate Producer and Staff Historian

Originally from Indiana, Katie is a graduate of Purdue University where she earned a degree in Public Relations, History and Film & Video Studies. Prior to joining HMP, Katie worked at a Smithsonian Affiliated museum in the areas of history interpretation, communications, and film production. She has assisted on several public television documentary series including Hoosiers: The Story of Indiana and Lew Wallace: Shiloh Soldier, Ben-Hur Bard. She is a young professional that is passionate about using film as a way to make history accessible to a varied public. Katie just moved to the Philadelphia area and is excited to be a part of a film company that’s team is so passionate about sharing their city’s story.

Eva Roben, Assistant Producer and Staff Historian

Eva brings her training in historical research to a new HMP film project, Tapestry: The Story of Jewish Philadelphia. After receiving a bachelor's degree in history, Eva spent four years working in environmental advocacy as a communications and community outreach professional. Her growing interest in public history, and her personal background as the great-granddaughter of Eastern European Jewish immigrants to Philadelphia led her to HMP and Tapestry. Eva grew up in Delaware County, received an AB in history from Harvard University, and currently resides in West Philadelphia.

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